In the latest effort to cut spending, Doug Ford introduced a pay cap in the public sector, affecting over 1 million Ontario workers. The legislation, if passed would see a total freeze to wages for all public sector workers in Ontario, including teachers, crown corporations, doctors and nurses, among others.
According to the Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy, the new pay cap would "reflect the fiscal situation of the province." Currently, the situation is that Doug Ford and the government is trying to eliminate an $11 billion budget deficit.
In order to get this deficit down, the government has been introducing a lot of cuts, such as getting rid of free tuition grants for students, completely restructuring autism funding, increasing class sizes, and other cuts to the environment and health care.
Now, the latest effort to save some money seems to be at the expense of public sector workers in this province, who could see their income essentially frozen at its current level. While the legislation wouldn't eliminate potential raises altogether, it would limit them to only 1% increases within a three-year time frame.
For example, if you make $40,000 annually you would only be able to get a raise of $400 over a three year period.
As for who is affected by this possible change, the Globe and Mail reports that over 1 million employees in Ontario would be hit with this pay cap.
Public Sector employees in this province include teachers, professors, school boards, and university administrators, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, Ontario power and hydro workers, and any government-funded agencies.
The bill is called the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act and was just introduced by the Conservative government today. That means the pay cap hasn't officially been mandated yet. The government plans to hold consultations about this plan over the summer.